But the man who has occupied the Oval Office since January, 2009 is… — a man seemingly without a compass, a tactician who veers rightward one day and leftward the next, an inside-the Beltway dealmaker who doesn’t explain his comprises in light of larger goals. … But instead of explaining this to the American people, he joins the GOP in making a fetish of reducing the budget deficit, and enters into a hair-raising game of chicken with House Republicans over whether the debt ceiling will be raised. [...] – Robert Reich
Sen. Majority Leader Reid, Sens. Schumer and Durbin came out to a smattering of press to excoriate Sen. Mitch McConnell employing a filibuster that will have the Senate voting at 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning on the latest disaster bill to come out of the debt ceiling debacle. Sen. Reid made an open plea for Republicans to join Democrats, so a catastrophe can be averted.
Reid called Boehner’s bill an “extravaganza” that made the House look “foolish.” But let’s not pretend Sen. Reid’s bill is anything Democrats should hail. No revenues, and as Reid said himself, they gave Republicans pretty much what they asked for, except that the Democratic bill extends the debt ceiling until after 2012.
Republicans want the ongoing debt ceiling debate and hikes to help them beat Pres. Obama, because they evidently believe they can’t do it without dragging the country down with them.
Considering Pres. Obama’s performance since he came into office, getting beat on health care messaging as he sold out to private insurers and Big Pharma that turned into an epic 2010 that created the Tea Party caucus extortionists in the first place; ducking the tax debate, then caving to extend Bush tax cuts; allowing too big to fail to have the White House seal of approval; another war to add to the other two; the appalling economic numbers, unemployment and ignoring the jobs crisis, not to mention Mr. Obama’s directional malaise, all of it reveals the paucity of our political pool, because if anyone should be beatable it’s Barack Obama.
Obama’s epic fecklessness in preparing for the current battle, along with Democratic capitulation to all the Republicans’ whims, is why McConnell began the next phase of the debt ceiling debate by stiff-arming Reid. When you do not fear your political opponent, because he’s already capitulated several times before, you simply wait him out until the inevitable pattern repeats itself again and you get what you want again.
More from Robert Reich:
Instead of powerful explanations we get the type of bromides that issue from every White House. America must “win the future,” Obama says, by which he means making public investments in infrastructure, education, and basic R&D. But then he submits a budget proposal that would cut non-defense discretionary spending (of which these investments constitute more than half) to its lowest level as a share of gross domestic product in over half a century.
A president can be forgiven for compromising, if his supporters understand why he is doing so. That the health-care law doesn’t include a public option, that financial reform doesn’t limit the size of the biggest Wall Street banks, even that cuts may have to be made to Medicare or Social Security — all could be accepted in light of the practical necessities of politics, if only we understood where the president is leading us.
A more disturbing explanation is that he simply lacks the courage to tell the truth. He wants most of all to be seen as a responsible adult rather than a fighter. As such, he allows himself to be trapped by situations — the debt-ceiling imbroglio most recently — within which he tries to offer reasonable responses, rather than be the leader who shapes the circumstances from the start.
Obama cannot mobilize America around the truth, in other words, because he is continuously adapting to the prevailing view. This is not leadership.
I long ago quit looking for leadership from Pres. Obama, because in order to lead you have to know what you believe in and where you want to take the people you’re leading, but instead, all Obama’s focused on is another term in office for the sake of it.
President Obama’s birthday-in-Chicago fundraisers are still scheduled for next week, Carney announced, despite a deficit deal appearing elusive. “We’re confident that this will be resolved,” Carney said. – Politico
That’s America’s political class today. Fundraisers and fecklessness, with the confidence someone will get the job done because you haven’t a clue how to do it yourself.